There is no doubt that hardwood is a fantastic and flexible building material that has been used by designers for centuries and across the spectrum of architecture, furniture and interior design projects.
But international demand for tropical hardwood is one of the main causes of illegal and destructive logging in the rainforests of countries such as Brazil and Indonesia, and it’s contributing to climate change.
Thankfully though, contractors, architects and builders are able to source timber products from environmentally and socially responsible sources such as those certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
But FSC hardwood can be costly and, amidst the ongoing non-conforming building products crisis in Australia, unless your FSC timber products are from a reliable local source, it can be an arduous task guaranteeing the legitimacy of its accreditation.
Bamboo ply is a new alternative that offers designers an opportunity to turn away from the destruction of our native forests and towards managed commercial plantations that are selectively harvested annually without the destruction of the grove or stand.
Unlike traditional hardwood, bamboo can be harvested every year without destroying the plantation, the bamboo stems will sprout new shoots in the next rain season and it takes only four to six years for the bamboo to grow to its full maturity while it takes decades or even hundreds of years for that of a tree.
Strong and Enduring
Besides its sustainability credentials, bamboo ply is stronger and harder wearing than most hardwoods. Bamboo's tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch versus 23,000 for steel. It is 25 per cent harder than Red Oak and 12 per cent harder than North American Maple. In addition it has 50 per cent less expansion or contraction than Red Oak.
Bamboo plywood is made of fine layers of bamboo strips laying in parallel order. The strips are kiln dried, sanded smooth and then laminated edge to edge to create a single-ply panel. These panels are then laminated again to each other to create multi-ply bamboo plywood with formaldehyde free emission. The multi layers are cross-laminated and heat pressed together to provide stability and to prevent warping 3-4 times more dimensionally stable then Oak.
Bamboo plywood can be cut, sanded, nailed, screwed and plugged using conventional woodworking equipment and it also offers excellent dimensional stability. Sydney-based bamboo plywood specialists, Plywood & Plastics also offer a natural or coffee colour (carbonised) finish and a variety of grain types like narrow, wide and strand woven. The size range of hardwood is also incomparable to what’s offered by Plywood & Plastics which includes massive sheet sizes of 2440 x 1220mm in thicknesses from 0.6mm up to 40mm. Longer lengths of 3000mm and 4000mm in widths 1200mm and 900mm respectively are also available for benchtops etc in 30mm and 40mm thicknesses.
Plywood &Plastics’ bamboo ply can be used in place of any hardwood plywood product for your interior design. For more information on how you could incorporate Plywood & Plastics’ range of bamboo ply in your project click here.